Thursday, December 12, 2013


by Robin

It has been such a stressful couple weeks with the eldest going through finals with his dual-enrollment.  Let's say that I don't like it when he rides the fence between grades and then ends up with the lower grade.  BUT, I have to remember that he's just a disappointed and that the grade was still wonderful for such a hard and demanding class.  And my boy, he's so easy-going that I wouldn't change that for the world.  So, that is DONE!

Then, we moved onto a couple more finals for my youngest.  Co-op came to a close on Tuesday.  We have a couple more classes continuing through next week.  Yeah. We can handle that.  Today is dress rehearsal for a play that Andrew is in.  Tomorrow is the big day!  I've got to charge and clear off my bloggie so I can video the whole thing.

Here are some pictures from the week.

I made candy for the kids at the co-op.  It was suppose to be suckers but that didn't work, so we poured a layer and cracked it.  Very effective.

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Then, while I was doing dishes, my fur babies were bored and waiting for me to do something involving food.

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Later, Lulu was tired of being a dog and decided she would hang out under the Christmas tree.  Ironic that our Easter Bunny is with the Christmas tree.  It made me think of that saying about folks who only attend church for Easter or Christmas.  They're called Chreasters.  Well, I think we have a Chreaster bunny now.

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And then today, I was working the garden.  Had to remove a few caterpillars that were destroying my tomato plant.  Wow, it was like massive overnight destruction.  They even ate 2 small tomatoes. Bad.

But the good news is that the chickens eat them right up - Justice!  Then, I picked a couple heads of broccoli.  One was flowering because of all our mid-80's heat.  And I picked 3 turnips to have with dinner tonight.  I washed them outside with the hose to remove most the dirt.  They're drying out here now.

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So, now I've got to run and begin the next couple of hours of errands and dental cleanings and dress rehearsals.

Catching that Holiday Spirit!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


by Robin

Here we go!!!

Beans were pulled.  I put them in a breathable but they didn't need it for long because I went right to work.

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Then removed.... chickens are destroying the leaves for dinner.

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Broccoli was trying to bloom thanks to the 82 deg heat.

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Tomatoes were turning. I pulled some early.  Maybe too early, but oh well.

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Happy Gardening,


by Robin

I'm having such a hard time with pain in my body and sometimes my medicine isn't working so I am desperate.  Fibromyalgia stinks.

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After watching a movie about being "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dying", I have decided that this may be more fun than eating salads.  I have eaten salads until I am blue in the face and it is no longer fun or tasty.  The people in the movie said it was pretty good and so I thought this may be the next best option.

This is Joe Cross' recipes for the 3-day weekend juicing.  I do like the morning one.

Here is the recipe for the Mean Green drink.  For me, the kale taste was so strong I almost couldn't do it.  I added some carrots and oranges to help me get into the first couple.

Before, when I first went primarily vegan and was able to get off all medications, I was also eating no processed food and eating 2 meals a day that were raw.  I never felt as good as I did back then.  So, this falls basically under the same principles of getting more raw into my diet and staying away from animal proteins.

If you get the opportunity to watch the movie, I'm sure it is at libraries and also on Netflix.   This link also had the movie in its entirety.

I also plan on growing much more kale and cucumbers in the spring to help cut down on the costs.

I'll let you know about my progress from time to time.

Happy Juicing.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


by Robin

Our chickens have been tortured a couple times this past month.  Freaking out.  Screaming.

Well, even Tractor Supply stores have post-Thanksgiving Day sales.  We picked up a couple traps.  One will be for the squirrels in my garden come spring and we have bigger trap that we've set out at the chicken coop.

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It took a couple tries but we finally got him/her.  Very clever fellow.  But the good news is that he will no longer be bothering the ladies.  I hope he enjoys his new territory away from people.

Now, if I could only catch that armadillo that's tearing up my yard and garden.

Happy Egg-laying!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


by Robin

We are finally getting to the fun part.... PICKING VEGETABLES!!  Here is the last pictures of the full garden before things start to get picked.

I can barely walk!  And I didn't even fill all the water spickets!  I think I took gardening by the foot a little too seriously.

This is my winter garden. Winter veggies.  I did NOT do 2 full gardens this winter purposefully.

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I wanted to leave Garden 2 mostly empty for early February planting.  Last year, I had a glitch when my broccoli and cauliflower were still producing and I wanted to put in squash, beans, cucumbers, etc.  So, this year, we rest.  There are some baby tomato and pepper plants.  Mostly, they were volunteer plants that I put on spickets. On the bottom row (right), those are my onions that I had to replant after the chickens destroyed the box full of them.

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I have 2 sets of turnips growing.  This left side batch were spread out a bit further and so they've grown faster.  My right side are very tightly packed.  Bad me.  These cauliflower were from the local feed store.  Seven.  I missed planting them from seed and fortunately all 7 survived and are healthy.  No cauliflower heads yet.

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 I have an entire row of Valentine Black Beans (bush variety).  These are drying beans for making soup in the winter.  This is my miracle story.  I had 6 beans to begin with last spring.  All 6 plants survived and produced approx 150 beans.  My friend who blessed me with the 6 heirloom seeds had a misfortune with her bunch and so I shared half back with her.  I used my 75 to plant this row.  Other than one chicken "incident", all stayed viable and produced heavily.  I am about to pick them this week and let them begin drying.

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My American and Italian broccoli are both making heads.  So far, they're about the size of a fist.  Possibly next week, we'll have our first side dish. Happy!  All these rows came from seed I saved from the spring harvest.  That was a first for me and it appears very successful, indeed!

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These are Campari tomatoes grown from seeds of toms I ate after purchasing them from Publix.  Who needs to buy seeds.  Save the seeds from the cutting board and throw them right in the ground.   I probably have 20 tomatoes on this bush alone.  I think they're finally going yellow/orange on me.  Yipee!  These are very sweet and small to medium size.

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Again, these are seeds from my cutting board.  I bought a beautiful Beefstake or Porterhouse-type tomato from the Farmer's Market in New Smyrna Beach.  This was my only surviving plant of all the babies but it is heavy with tomatoes.   There are 5 in this picture alone but the whole bush has blooms and babies on it. Fall growing season is so great because the bugs are gone dormant and I don't have to do much care to the plants.  Mostly, I just hand-pick catepillars and they're primarily on the beans and cabbage.

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Turnips are starting to grow and show their purple.  You don't want these any bigger than a baseball or they'll get bitter.

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I couldn't resist picking these for dinner tonight. I'm going to try cooking the greens too.

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Not pictured was the cabbage. Not sure that will make it. It is so buried under those broccoli leaves and the catepillars are having their way too. Lettuce and Swiss Chard are also being overtaken. It was nice while it lasted. Tasted very good.

Happy Gardening.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


by Robin 

"1,500 pages.
That’s how much paper the new set of rules and regulations put forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for farmers as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The Act, passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2011, attempts to address some concerns in America’s food safety and security.
It allows the FDA to regulate food safety for farms all across the United States.
The act included “scale-ability,” which basically means for small and medium sized farmers and agricultural, the law included a built in safety valve so the regulations would not be too financially onerous for the type of farmers – local, sustainable operations – we support at From Scratch magazine."

There are new rules from water samples to manure to processing (canning) to marketing.!docketDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0921   Here is your list of regulations and comments made by people. 
I am not a small farming business but a more like a homesteader where I have a small garden in my backyard and some chickens for eggs.  Once they shut down the small farmer, who's to say they won't shut down the backyard farmer.  
Afterall, we already know of one case where the city of Miami is forcing a family to mow over their vegetable gardens in their front yard. See the below link.  Face $50/day fine or 90 days in jail.  Ridiculous.

I can't believe I live in American, where we are the Land of the Free, We the People supposedly protected by the 1st Amendment.  What happened to the pursuit of happiness? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 9: Thankful for Sin Found Out

by Robin

This morning, we were in search for a missing phone.  I was certain it must have fallen between the cracks and stayed hidden under the bed.  The problem was finding time to deal with pulling toys out, crawling in dust bunnies and grit with a flashlight and searching.  It was easy to ignore it for a while but eventually, we needed that phone for our child as the days have grown shorter and darker.  Why did I take so long to find that "safety" a phone brings?  Because it was easier to avoid dealing with the hard work.

Life is like that.  How many times do I avoid going to God in prayer and digging in His Word for His security?  Really now, Robin, how hard is it to pull out the Good Book and read a couple chapters?  There is so much comfort and wisdom in His Word.  Why do I see it some days as a chore?  like I'm crawling through dust bunnies and grit?  Why do I blame being busy?  Who allows me to get so busy?  Me.  There is only One who is blameless before God and it ain't me!

I have no idea why.  He calls me.  I hear it clearly.  I ignore it.

After finding the phone, we were determined to do a deep clean on the room.  Finding a home for some toys, clothes, a pair of shoes.  Reclaiming pencils that have lost their way over the three months from the pencil bucket.  Putting up endless books that I did open while avoiding God's Word.  (Shame on me! How could I think I could do ANYTHING without Christ being first in my life.)

And then..... then, I found it.

Something that disappoints any Mama's heart.

You thought you raised them better than that but they didn't run away from sin but towards it. I wonder if God thinks that way about me.  Do I disappoint Him and make Him wonder about His parenting skills?

For Day 9, I am THANKFUL that my sin is "found out", or revealed.  Darkness cannot live where there is light.

You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence. - Psalm 90:8

Today, I will be so relieved to return to the Father and His embrace of love and forgiveness just as I will embrace my child with love and forgiveness.  I think we both could spend a lot more time in the Father's Word and prayer.   

God tells us that we're all sinners who fall short of His glory and perfection but that there is hope through faith in His (Jesus') blood for our sins.  (Rom 3:23-25)  

And THAT is something to be THANKFUL about. 

In His care,

Friday, November 8, 2013


by Robin

Trust me, if I could figure out which one started this, they'd be in the pot by now and I'd be blogging about chicken soup.

So much for my green onions.  I need to find a good recipe for onion soup and start it.  LOL.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - Senior Pics (from Barberville Pioneer Settlement)

by Robin

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by Robin

(Little bro put a treasure map in a bottle for when big bro gets home.)

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I spy Bible, laptop, stapler, headphones, lego and gaming mags, transformers, head lamp, air soft gun, college materials.  Typical 17 yo homeschooler, right?

Across from this.... somebody else is waiting for his buddy.  (The guitar, not the dog... LOL)

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Saturday, October 26, 2013


by Robin

 Full Garden.  There are some empty spots that I'm having trouble keeping things growing.  Water lines may be plulgged.  I have reseeded some spots 3x and still have nothing.  I have a winter batch of tomatoes in tubs in case we get freezes.  photo DSCN3849FullGarden.jpg

Beefstake tomatoes.  Seeds saved on paper towels from Farmer's Market in New Smyrna, FL.   photo DSCN3850Beefstake.jpg

Campari tomatoes and Turnips.  Seeds from live fruit from Publix grocery store.  Turnip seeds from Home Depot. photo DSCN3859CampariTurnips.jpg

Lettuce blend. (Swiss Chard not in pic, but in garden.)  Burpee seed.
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Italian Broccoli. (Also American variety not in picture)  All my own seed saved from last spring. photo DSCN3856ItalBroccoli.jpg

Cauliflower. Seedlings from feed store since they were late getting planted. photo DSCN3857Cauliflower.jpg

Cabbage.  Last year's seed from company. photo DSCN3858Cabbage.jpg

Black Bean Bloom.  This is a drying, heirloom variety. photo DSCN3853BBB.jpg

I decided to only grow one garden this fall. I was awfully busy with starting up school but then I also convinced myself this was the right thing because I want to start a spring garden in early February (risking frost). Many of these won't be done growing until that time or LATER. So, I thought it would be nice to have an entire section open for squash, cucumbers, beans, kale, peppers, etc.

 Happy Gardening. The weather is just beautiful for weeding (or watching football).